Vanguard Group Inc is pulling out of a major investment-industry initiative on tackling climate change, the world's biggest mutual fund manager said on Wednesday, explaining it wants to demonstrate independence and clarify its views for investors.
Top investors including Pennsylvania-based Vanguard, face mounting pressure from Republican U.S. politicians over their use of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors in picking and managing securities.
One focus of criticism has been the effort known as the Net Zero Asset Managers (NZAM) initiative, launched in late 2020 to encourage fund firms to reach net zero emission targets by 2050 and limit the rise in global temperatures. As of Nov. 9, NZAM counted 291 signatories representing some $66 trillion in assets under management.
The exit from the initiative of Vanguard, which manages about $7 trillion in assets, is a blow to efforts to organize industries to move away from fossil fuels even though the fund manager insisted it "will not affect our commitment to helping our investors navigate the risks that climate change can pose to their long-term returns."
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